Contesting a temporary assignment or a CNESST decision
Workers may contest a CNESST decision.
For their part, employers may contest a CNESST inspector’s decision or a decision rendered in a worker's file.
Contesting a temporary assignment
A worker may contest a temporary assignment, despite the physician's favourable opinion, if they believe:
- they are not capable of performing the work they have been assigned
- that the work endangers their health, safety or physical well-being given their injury or illness
- that the work is not beneficial to their rehabilitation
How to contest a temporary assignment
To contest a temporary assignment, the worker must apply to their company's health and safety committee or safety representative and to their employer. They will have to examine the application and make a decision by consulting the physician in charge of health services in the company or, if there is no physician, the public health director of the region where the establishment is located.
If there is no safety committee or safety representative, the worker may send their application to contest the temporary assignment to the CNESST office in their region (in french only). A decision will be rendered within 20 days.
Recourses available when a decision is rendered by the CNESST
When a decision is rendered by the CNESST, a letter is sent to the worker and their employer. This letter indicates:
- the decision
- the reasons for the decision
- the right to contest the decision
If the worker or the employer is not satisfied with the decision, the following 2 recourses are available:
- administrative review
- reconsideration of a decision
An administrative review consists of asking the CNESST to verify whether the file was assessed and processed in accordance with the standards and policies in force.
Workers and employers who disagree with a CNESST decision may apply for an administrative review. The application must be made in writing within 30 days of the decision. To apply for an administrative review, we recommend that you use Mon Espace CNESST (in french only) or complete the online application form without registering.
Following the application for an administrative review, we will render a new decision.
If this new decision is unsatisfactory to the worker or the employer, it can be contested before the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT) within 45 days of the new decision.
Decision of an occupational health and safety inspector
The role of an occupational health and safety inspector is to order or make a decision such as the closure of a construction site. The decision is effective immediately. The employer can file an application for an administrative review with the CNESST within 10 days of being notified of the decision.
If the review leads to the complete or partial closure of a workplace, the CNESST examines the application as a matter of urgency.
If the employer disagrees with the decision rendered by the CNESST, they may contest it before the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT). Until such time as the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT) has rendered its decision, the employer must comply with the CNESST’s decision.
Reconsideration of a decision
Reconsideration of a decision allows the CNESST, under certain conditions, to make a second decision and thus review a decision it has already rendered. It may:
- within 90 days of its decision, reconsider a decision to correct any errors
- on its own initiative or at the request of the worker or the employer, reconsider a decision that was rendered before an essential fact became known
When it is the worker or the employer who applies for reconsideration of a decision, they have 90 days from the time they become aware of the essential fact to file their application with the CNESST.
Workers and employers who apply for reconsideration of a decision must send their application to the CNESST office in their region (in french only).
Medical and administrative recourses
In the event of a work accident or occupational disease, the worker must undergo all the medical examinations required by their physician. An independent medical assessment may be requested by the employer or the CNESST regarding any of the following 5 aspects:
- the diagnosis
- care and treatments
- consolidation of the injury
- permanent impairment
- functional limitations
In this case:
- the CNESST or the employer calls in a designated health professional, who examines the worker
- the designated professional prepares a report and a copy is sent to the attending physician who must respond to the designated professional’s conclusions
- if the attending physician agrees with the report, the CNESST applies the new conclusions
- if the attending physician disagrees with the report, the CNESST sends a request to the Bureau d'évaluation médicale (BEM)
- when the opinion of the Bureau d'évaluation médicale is given, it is sent to the worker, the employer and the CNESST, which then renders its decision based on the opinion given by the BEM.
If the employer or the worker disagree with this decision, they may apply to the CNESST for an administrative review. The decision can be contested before the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT) , if necessary.